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South Korea to develop advanced missile interceptors

South Korea approved the development of the L-SAM II and the M-SAM Block III. The M-SAM Block III will be an enhanced version of M-SAM's earlier versions. The picture above shows the live-fire drill M-SAM Block I. (RoKAF)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced the development of advanced missile interceptors.

The country's Defense Project Promotion Committee (DPPC) approved the funding to develop the long-range surface-to-air missile (L-SAM) II and the medium-range surface-to-air missile (M-SAM) Block III.

The DPPC has allocated KRW2.71 trillion (USD2.02 billion) to develop the L-SAM II from 2024 to 2035.

DAPA seeks to secure a high-altitude interceptor missile and a gliding-stage interceptor missile under the L-SAM II project.

The range of the high-altitude interceptor missile will be three times the range of the L-SAM and an increased interception altitude, DAPA said.

South Korea's Agency for Defense Development (ADD) is developing the L-SAM system with local aerospace manufacturer LIG Nex1.

According to LIG Nex1, the L-SAM will have a firing range of 150 km. The missile will be capable of intercepting the targets at altitudes between 40 and 100 km.

The L-SAM II programme also comprises the development of the gliding-stage interceptor missile to counter advanced missiles such as the hypersonic missiles and North Korea's new solid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) known as Hwaseong-18.

Apart from the L-SAM II, the DPPC approved KRW2.83 trillion to develop the M-SAM Block III from 2024 to 2034.

The M-SAM Block III will be an enhanced version of the M-SAM Block II with “improved interception performance and engagement capability in order to effectively respond to North Korean missiles”, DAPA said.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery & Air Defence

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